Cancer cell detection device for the diagnosis of bladder cancer from urine

Melanie MacGregor, Hanieh Safizadeh Shirazi, Kit Man Chan, Kola Ostrikov, Kym McNicholas, Alex Jay, Michael Chong, Alexander H. Staudacher, Thomas D. Michl, Aigerim Zhalgasbaikyzy, Michael P. Brown, Moein Navvab Kashani, Adam Di Fiore, Alex Grochowski, Stephen Robb, Simon Belcher, Jordan Li, Jonathan M. Gleadle, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Bladder cancer is common and has one of the highest recurrence rates. Cystoscopy, the current gold standard diagnosis approach, has recently benefited from the introduction of blue light assisted photodynamic diagnostic (PDD). While blue light cystoscopy improves diagnostic sensitivity, it remains a costly and invasive approach. Here, we present a microfluidic-based platform for non-invasive diagnosis which combines the principle of PDD with whole cell immunocapture technology to detect bladder cancer cells shed in patient urine ex vivo. Initially, we demonstrate with model cell lines that our non-invasive approach achieves highly specific capture rates of bladder cancer cells based on their Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule expression (>90%) and detection by the intensity levels of Hexaminolevulinic Acid-induced Protoporphyrin IX fluorescence. Then, we show in a pilot study that the biosensor platform successfully discriminates histopathologically diagnosed cancer patients (n = 10) from non-cancer controls (n = 25). Our platform can support the development of a novel non-invasive diagnostic device for post treatment surveillance in patients with bladder cancer and cancer detection in patients with suspected bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112699
Number of pages12
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Biofluids
  • Biosensor
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cystoscopy
  • EpCAM
  • Hexaminolevulinic acid
  • Immunocapture
  • Microfluidic device
  • Photodynamic diagnosis
  • Plasma deposition
  • PpIX fluorescence


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